Dusseldorf The German-Spanish turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa is cutting 2,900 jobs worldwide. The wind company announced this on Thursday. Most jobs will be lost in Denmark (800), Germany (300) and Spain (475).
“Such a decision is never easy, but now is the time to take the necessary actions to get the company back on track so that it has a sustainable future,” says Siemens Gamesa CEO Jochen Eickholt, justifying the drastic step. The austerity program is part of the so-called “Mistral strategy”, which is intended to get the troubled wind company back on track.
The situation is getting worse due to the record prices for raw materials, the supply chain chaos and internal problems. Eickholt had already announced in an interview with the Handelsblatt in June that there would be major job cuts as a result.
Although Siemens Gamesa is one of the largest wind companies in the world and even market leader on the sea, business is bad. The balance of the last six years: several profit warnings, red numbers and four bosses. Most recently, the renovation specialist Eickholt replaced Andreas Nauen in March.
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The turbine manufacturer only had to lower its profit forecast again at the beginning of August. “The situation remains tense. We see that material costs continue to go up, and at the same time we have long-term contracts that were concluded in 2021 with significantly lower prices,” said CEO Eickholt at the time.
Wind energy is booming, but costs have risen sharply
One of many problems is the crisis on the world market for wind power. Market leader Vestas and competitors such as Nordex, Enercon and GE Renewables have also been making losses for months. And not just since record raw material prices, supply chain chaos and the Ukraine war have been affecting business.
There has been a tough price war on the market for years. Above all, the switch from fixed state remuneration to free tendering systems, in which only the cheapest gets the contract, has driven the turbine manufacturers into ruinous competition.
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In addition, the German market, one of the main sales markets, has collapsed in recent years. On the US market, Donald Trump caused a great deal of uncertainty in the industry during his tenure as President. Many factories were closed and tens of thousands of employees were laid off. Nordex recently caused a stir when it closed one of the last rotor blade factories in Germany.
Nordex and Siemens Gamesa are particularly concerned that they cannot process their full order books quickly enough and, above all, at current costs. While raw material and logistics costs have increased massively, turbines have to be delivered at the contractually agreed price. Although the industry is renegotiating current contracts, it takes time to push through the higher prices. And this despite the fact that the demand for wind power is booming: 2021 was the second best year in the history of global wind energy.
More: Siemens Gamesa boss – “A lot went wrong, especially internally”